Physical education can be difficult in my classroom because I have a large range of ages in my room. There are a few games that just seem so easy to do in a mixed group. These are some of my student's favorite games.
At my school, we actually have four basketball hoops, but we could still do well if we only had two. These games may be very familiar to you, but you may have forgotten about them. I divide the students in groups of ability, rather than age. Now you may think that that could cause a problem, but I find that this grouping usually put kids in groups with their friends, and, because they have a chance to win, they are all happy in their own games. There are also times when the division ends up being along grade designations.
In this game, a variation of Around the World (another game my kids love enough to play in their free time) you can use hula hoops or chalk. Draw circles in various places-or place the hoops in the various places. Vary the closeness of the "holes." They do not necessarily go in order. Number the holes-if you are using hula hoops, write the number inside the hoop. Also-in a small circle, give the hole a point value with harder shots getting higher points.
The students line up and take turns at each hole. If they make the shot, they go on and do not stop until they miss. As the go, it is up to them to keep their score. They keep playing until everyone finishes the course.
Remember playing horse or pig or whatever word you want to spell. Again, the kids form a line. I will say oldest, youngest or maybe ABC order to give the kids an order to start the game. On the second game, we change the order.
The kids shoot the ball. If they make it, the next people have to do the same shot until someone misses. When someone misses, he gets the first letter from the word being spelled. Then the person behind the one who misses is off the hook and she gets to start with her own shot. The game goes on until someone has spelled the chose word.
This tennis game doesn't actual use a racquet. Create two teams. Draw a line between them on the cement or blacktop. Each team sets up like a volleyball game. One team gets the ball. You can use a tennis ball or a playground ball. The server bounces the ball and hits it across, just like a tennis player. The teams hit the ball back and forth like a tennis match.
The rules are the same in that a team can only get a point if it serves the ball. When a team has served and they fail to score, the ball goes to the other side. Each person has to guard her own space. Rotating is done just like rotating in volleyball.
Sometimes, it helps to draw lines for the different players. Then the rule that says you have to let each person play for themself is easier to monitor.
These are just a few of the games we play that actually work with a multi-grade classroom. They also work in single grade classrooms. Do you have a favorite game that you play with your kids? Share it here.